The rise of marketing and e-commerce has been one of the most significant developments of the past decade. This has been driven by the growth of the internet, with more and more people relying on online trends and adverts for their purchasing needs. As a result, businesses invest in online marketing strategies such as social media management, email marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and many others to drive traffic and reach wider audiences.
We know you’re working hard on establishing your brand. You’ve spent a lot of time pinning down your business goals and brainstorming ways to get ahead of your competitors. But if you’ve tried various marketing strategies and are still falling short of your expected outcomes, perhaps Influencer Marketing is the answer to boost your brand.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is someone with an established online reputation because of their expertise on a specific topic or niche.
Influencer Marketing Hub defined it as “someone who has the power to affect the purchasing decisions of others because of his or her authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with his or her audience”.
This can range from artists (athletes, musicians, pop-culture celebrities, etc.) to bloggers and content creators, and industry leaders and experts (journalists, academics, professional advisors, etc.).
More businesses are employing the power of influencers to further breach communication gaps between brands and their consumers. This strategy is dubbed ‘Influencer Marketing’ and is becoming an increasingly popular way to skyrocket brand reputation and sales.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing focuses on using key opinion leaders to drive your brand’s message to the larger market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead focus on targeting a smaller group of influential people.
These influencers may have a large social media following or they may be well-connected in their industry. The goal is simple: to get these influencers to share your content, do a review on your product, or promote your services to their followers, which, in turn, will reach a larger audience.
How Can Influencers Benefit Your Business?
Influencers can be a valuable asset to your marketing ventures. Social media influencers, in particular, are creative, resourceful, and can deliver content to their audience in a way that would evoke action (or reaction). How else do you think they gain a large following?
Apart from that, consumers often trust the opinion of influencers, thus the tendency to support what they advertise, listen to what they say, and more likely engage with your brand.
What are the Different Types of Influencer Content Campaigns?
- Product Seeding
Sending free products to influencers might get you positive mentions in their posts. And honestly, there’s nothing better than having a person with high-level influence vouch for the quality of your brand. This is one of the less absolute ways to get your name out there, though, since there is no official partnership, and it fully depends on the influencer whether or not they’d share your product.
- Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
Businesses can give commissions for every sale generated from the influencer’s efforts to promote the product. Often this would involve discount promo codes for influencers to provide to their audience to prompt them to purchase on the brand’s online store. A win-win situation, where the influencer earns their share and your business gets its sale.
- Product Placements
Subtlety can be the best way to highlight something. Instagram influencers can seamlessly employ this technique by incorporating products into their content – in a manner that would appear natural and not overly emphasized or staged. In this case, the influencer is not trying to sell actively, but rather they are recommending by simply showing, mentioning, or bragging about it.
- Brand ambassadorship
This is when a business hires a person of influence to be the ‘face’ of their brand. This can involve them in representing your brand in events, advertising your goods and services on their social media accounts and via other platforms, and answering questions consumers might have about the product (therefore, they should be knowledgeable about what the brand is about).
- Social Media Takeover
A takeover is when an influencer takes the reins to a brand’s social media page, allowing them to post what they want, when they want and however they want (with well-defined terms of the agreement, of course). Takeovers have been popular on Instagram and Snapchat, but businesses can implement them on other available social media platforms.
How do you choose the right ‘brand champions’?
More people are becoming influencers, all with distinct styles in sparking trends across the web. How do you find the perfect set of influencers to grow your brand?
- Consider their audience size, and gauge whether it aligns with your target market. You’re aiming to reach the right people and expand your consumer base. Choosing an influencer who’s not relevant to your target demographic is unlikely to get you the results you want.
- Observe the content they share and decide if they are a good fit for your products or services. Their content should align with your brand identity, vision, and values. Get a feel of their feeds, and see what kind of messages they’re sending to their audience. Do they spark meaningful conversation? Are they able to encourage viewers to act on something?
- Consider their engagement levels and whether they are actively interacting with their followers. It will not hurt to check if an influencer’s audience reacts, responds, shares, or comments on their content. Apart from this, how frequently does the influencer interact with their following?
By keeping these in mind, you can narrow your options and find the right influencer for your brand.
Influencer marketing is something that every business should be looking into. With thorough research and testing, this marketing strategy can be the missing link to increasing the visibility of your brand.